Unintended consequences or desired outcome? Soldiers' children and their role in policies of national rebirth

Watson Building (Mathematics)
Monday 15 May 2017 (18:00-19:30)
Soldiers' children and their role in policies of national rebirth

In most conflicts, leaders of military and political forces treat the intimate relations of soldiers as private affairs.

Their main concern is optimising the fighting strength of their forces; thus, policies are usually limited to minimising the adverse effect of such intimate contacts on soldiers’ health and the reputation of the troops.

This lecture, however, looks at three cases where military and political leadership have explicitly formulated policies relating to soldiers’ procreation in an attempt to utilise their offspring for a process of national rebirth. Despite great differences in the historical context and the nature of these conflicts, Lee’s analysis highlights shared characteristics which shed light on the circumstances military and political leaders exploit to implement policies for procreation to be used as a war strategy.

Sabine Lee is Professor in Modern History at the University of Birmingham and Head of Research for the School of History and Cultures. Her research has spanned a range of themes in contemporary history, from European integration to 20th century physics. Her current research focuses on interdisciplinary approaches to conflict and security, with particular emphasis on conflict-related sexual violence and children born of war. She coordinates and supervises the Children Born of War project, a H2020 Marie Curie Innovative Training Network which aims to advance our knowledge and understanding of the lived experiences of children born of 20th century conflict and post-conflict situations.

Culture and collections

Schools, institutes and departments

Services and facilities